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Day 3 Is it supposed to get worse before it gets better?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Patti Kimler, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Patti Kimler

    Patti Kimler Peer Supporter

    I feel like I have my TMS/Fibromyalgia on the run now, participating in your SEP (thank you!) and reading Scott Brady's book. But today my symptoms are at least 3X worse- I can hardly walk, and I'm losing my grip- literally. The only physical diagnosis is a slightly bulging disk in my lower back that is rubbing against a nerve. Is it acting up because I have it on the run? Is that something y'all have experienced as well? Thanks! -Patti
  2. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi Patti,
    I first realized my TMS diagnosis mid-March of last year, 2012. At that time, I accepted what was being written by Dr. Sarno in his book, Healing Back Pain. His description of me was on nearly every page. I will admit that the first 3 weeks were very challenging; it was almost as if the awareness of TMS caused a rebellion, if you will, from my sub-conscious mind that had been found out, so to speak. It was odd in that I kept reading about people who just read the book and were immediately healed. I was frustrated because the pain I had in my lower back went to other parts of my body. I was initially more fearful that the pain would lead to a full-blown occurrence that would lead to my having to spend more time in bed recovering from back pain. I had a few "near misses" where I would feel the beginning of spasm in my lower back when getting out of a chair. The fear pattern was still in my psyche and it was hard to overcome that fear of the pain. But I pushed through it by talking to my brain. That's what I did to overcome the fear. I would say things to myself like, "Stop it! I know what you're doing now. I know that you're creating this pain in order to avoid the emotional feelings that are upsetting to me." The pain would usually subside within minutes - sometimes within seconds from my talking to my own mind. It was rather magical when that happened and I would gain confidence in knowing that this TMS diagnosis was real and not fabricated.

    I also wrote in my journal when these episodes would happen. It surprised me that events that were "small" would trigger pain. I seemed to think that my pain had to be covering severe trauma in my life. This could be the case but I found that the little things that were annoying to me were those that cause an onset of pain. To explain, one day my sister-in-law took the larger piece of chicken pie that my husband had made for dinner. I immediately felt pain in my back - a piercing pain in my lower lumbar region of my back. My sister-in-law is mentally challenged and my husband and I take care of her after my father-in-law died 4 years ago; she lives with us and thus, we are responsible for caring for her every need though she is highly functional. I suppose I did not realize how miffed I was that she made a bee-line for the largest piece of pie. I've learned from my own birth family and from my in-law family to submerge my own needs for the needs of others. Well, I could not believe that such a petty annoyance could cause an attack! LOL! But of course, this syndrome can point out the most minor offenses. I am sure that it wasn't about that one piece of pie. It was about my resentment that we had to take care of her 100% leaving me and my husband with less self-care. I am not a glutton, so the chicken pie scenario was a symptom of a much larger issue. In fact, when I wrote in my journal later about this episode, the advantage of hindsight proved to me that one does not need a dramatic event to experience back pain. It's the little, day-to-day events and frustrations that cause repression as a coping mechanism.

    I learned from this experience of having TMS that the pain can be my friend. I know immediately when something is bothering me. It doesn't have to be a serious offense that triggers the pattern. Look for the little daily irritations that could cause your pain. Don't over-obsess, but become present in the NOW. As soon as you feel the pain, ask yourself what happened or what you were thinking a moment prior to the onset of pain. You will be amazed to learn that it can be "resistance to what is" that causes the most pain.

    You say that you have TMS/Fibromyalgia and your situation resonates with my experience in that way, too. I was told by my physical therapist (a very smart man) that I had "fibromyalgia-like symptoms" when I put my back out doing the most basic exercises under his supervision. He said he'd worked with patients having fibromyalgia and my physical inability to do a basic stretch due to the pain it caused was reminiscent of his fibromyalgia clients. He told me to "never accept that diagnosis" because he on some level recognized its psychological component. Dr. Sarno, in his books, refers to fibromyalgia as a severe form of TMS. It is possible, therefore, that you have more need for support in your healing the TMS episodes. You may choose to go to a professional therapist or you may know yourself well enough in order to get through this period with help here online. However, you say above that you are "losing your grip - literally" so I don't know if that means you are feeling like you're losing your mind, or that you are losing your physical grip because your hands are in such pain, or both? Either way, I felt that way for about a month and yes, I thought that my TMS pattern was more activated once I'd found out what my pain was all about. It was as if the young child had been found out for taking the cookies out of the cookie jar and was rather rebellious when the parent confronted the child about this act. My TMS acted more fiercely before I took charge in telling my mind that I knew what it was up to. I had a few close calls, but about one month into the process, it stopped. My mind won :) When I slip into some pain in an odd place in my body (like my thumb, for instance) I immediately think "psychological" (unless I hit it with a hammer :) for example).

    Also, I found a meditation on YouTube that was free and really relaxing. I forget the link, but look up Kelly Howell (I think) on YouTube. I have no link to her except that her meditations were very soothing to me. I do not gain financially by recommending her meditations. I thought this might help you. Her YouTube meditations are free.

    Finally, I viewed YouTube videos of Dr. Sarno and other physicians who work with TMS patients; I found those re-confirming and soothing to watch. Repeat reading Dr. Sarno's books, too, if necessary.

    One last thing - if you watch much news on TV (which I did) stop doing this now. Read the news on the Internet. In this way, you can select what to read and the images are not so jarring to your personality. Many of us TMS patients are empathic and we absorb all of that negative energy.

    I wish you the best in your recovery. The last advice I would say is to be kind to yourself. You are brave to have made it this far with fibromyalgia. There is a certain bravery in facing your illnesses, but it is very brave to be free from your pain, too. You may have identified with your pain for so long that you've not separated yourself - the real inner you- from your pain. One does not lose weight overnight, so don't expect to be free of pain overnight. If you slip and fall, get back up, brush yourself off, and start again. I know how hard this is to do, but you must. We all have choices in this life. Tell your mind that your choice is to live free of physical pain, even if it means feeling the emotional pain that surfaces. If this is happening (i.e., depression or anxiety) it is important that you call your physican and/or psychologist or therapist for some professional help.

    Hope this is helpful to you. You will prevail.
    Patti Kimler likes this.
  3. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    You are absolutely on the right track. Your mind can chase that pain away. The pain is trying to distract you from moving forward. Don't let it slow you down for one minute. You can do this!
    Patti Kimler likes this.
  4. Patti Kimler

    Patti Kimler Peer Supporter

    Lianne and SandayRae.

    Thanks for your responses. After writing on Sunday I went and laid down in bed - I didn't feel well. Within an hour or so I tried to roll over and couldn't - my legs were paralyzed. My husband called 911 and off I went in the ambulance (my first trip ever). That was Sunday around 6 PM. When I woke up Monday morning my legs were acting like they might support me, and I could roll over and move them around. They did a ton of tests for 2 days and released me last night around 8 pm. Essentially, they found 2 bulging disks (after doing 3 MRI's!) and a Urinary Tract Infection.

    If I had even the slightest shred of doubt that this was TMS, the trip to the hospital took are of it for me. In the back of mind, I always wondered if there was something else wrong, but this trip to the ER resolved that.

    I think the emotional stress that my back was reacting to was related to the work that I'm doing here and also what's coming out as a result of reading Scott Brady's book. I'm going to put down the book for now and concentrate my efforts here. I think I'm very close to a breakthrough!

    Thanks for your responses!

    Love & light,
  5. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Hi Patti,
    Thanks for the update. When I moved my parents to the city I live in over 3 years ago. I started falling apart physically trying to take care of them. I started having numerous urinary tract infections... one right after the other. I had not had any for 40 years. Then I got Interstitial Cystitis where the lining of the bladder is burnt.... such pain. I went through numerous treatments for that illness. Now all that is gone.

    I know moving my parents here was a huge trigger and brought back such terrible emotional pain of "never being good enough" to love (didn't realize it at the time). Of course, I had numerous physical problems before this event but they went into orbit with my parents now in my life all the time. But I would never have found Sarno and the TMSwiki if not for this event.

    I had Scoliosis surgery when I was 16. I have disc degeneration and bulging disc in my lower back and neck which have led me to believe that is where the pain was coming from. Well, today the pain is completely gone. I am back to gardening which I was told not to do anymore. Gardening breaths life into me when I see things grow. So I am thrilled for spring to arrive.

    You go girl!
  6. Patti Kimler

    Patti Kimler Peer Supporter

    Thanks SandyRae- you inspire me!

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